The Hope College Baker
Scholars established a new chapter in the organization's 40-year history when it took its first international trip in February. The group visited the Republic of Panama where it was hosted by Baker Scholar alum and Associate Peace Corps Director for
Community Economic Development, Zach Barricklow '05.
Panama has one of the most vibrant economies in the hemisphere. The Bakers met with economists, diplomats, business professionals, consultants, corporate and non-profit executives, and community organizing professionals. They visited the largest real estate development in the world, one of the most biologically diverse rain forests in the tropics, an indigenous village the second largest free trade zone on earth and, of course, the canal which facilitates global trade and on which the vast majority of U.S. goods rely on for passage from producer to consumer. Needless to say, the group’s five days in Panama was filled to the brim.
The Baker Scholars are a select group of upper-class students, chosen by a panel of local business professionals through a rigorous application and interview process. All applicants meet a high academic standard; however, those selected are distinguished by their leadership potential. Bakers are motivated, intelligent, hard working, and creative. The program provides students with experiences and opportunities outside the normal curriculum of the college. Program activities consist of professional visits and trips to major business centers, engagement with important business leaders, service to the college and the community, and social activities. The group is student led. Professors Vicki Ten Haken and John Lunn of the Department of Economics, Management, and Accounting serve as advisors.